Mouthpiece Pressure

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Joe N., Mar 23, 2007.

  1. Hardnut

    Hardnut Pianissimo User

    Feb 24, 2006
    South England
    For me, I have to agree with trumpethack: I used to use way too much pressure and used to really ram the mouthpiece onto my lips with my pinky finger. I did this to such a terrible extent that I broke my finger, and that kind of told me that I needed to change the way I played - I still have my finger inside the pinky ring, but I no longer use it to apply pressure.

    Joe N, I would suggest, as many others have that there are no simple "tricks" to reduce pressure - just keep trying to pull the trumpet away from your chops, playing lots of soft pedal tones with minimal pressure, until you are comfortable to do the same for higher notes.

    Good luck!

  2. trumpethack

    trumpethack Pianissimo User

    Jun 1, 2006

    I appreciate your response, and just so you know am on the same page with you pretty much 99% of the time...

    I agree there are no quick fixes, but that being said I do believe that there are some little "things" that can help people. I don't believe that holding the trumpet by the bottom is going to transform a player...! But I do think it is a "trick" that can be useful. You're right it does change the arm position slightly... so what... For me that didn't even enter my thoughts when I first tried it, I just noticed that it caused there to be less pressure on my mouth...! That was the point of the original post... ideas on how to reduce mouthpiece pressure. I never said there wouldn't be trade offs, that this was the magic pill, or that the real reason you use to much pressure has nothing to do with how you hold the horn.... It was just something to try...

    There is no shortcut to great trumpet playing...there are no quick fixes... and the internet is no place to learn how to play... well...then why do we have this site...!! There will always be players and beginners that try to come here in place of studying with a teacher, and you and I know that this will not work... I say let them be...

    But there are plenty of people who come here who ARE studying with a good teacher and who ARE practicing right and still want to ask questions which on the face value may seem like they are looking for a quick fix, but maybe they are just looking to get the opinions of other people who play the trumpet, because they aren't surrounded by players all the time where they live with whom they can talk shop with, which is why they come to this site in the first place...

    just food for thought...

  3. crowmadic

    crowmadic Mezzo Piano User

    Oct 3, 2006
    Matt, I like that last thought "surrounded by trumpet players". That's the value of TM Forum for me. I don't gig, I'm not in school, nor do I fratenize with other trumpet players. I do however play with other musicians, one trumpet player amongst them (more advanced than me, in some ways). I do have access to a music professor that plays trumpet. My being a better trumpet player has more to do with music theory than trumpet technique. Give me the theory and I can sell the song; not at Lincoln Center, or on the boob tube. Give me a nice smokey room where people enjoy smokey playing....just kidding about the on and so forth......I hope you get my point.......I think playing should be personal and fun! Technique sure helps execution of ideas, and usually pleases most listeners.........
  4. crowmadic

    crowmadic Mezzo Piano User

    Oct 3, 2006
    Rowuk, I forgot to mention, you're one of my "main-men" on TM, along with my main woman Alex............peace, crow
  5. stchasking

    stchasking Forte User

    Jun 11, 2006
    There is no need to flame.

    Excess pressure is due to improper embouchure formation. The questioner needs a teacher for one on one coaching.

    I use the two fingers up and two fingers down in the left hand and it has greatly improved my relaxed playing. It does help me concentrate on embouchure by not smashing my upper lip. There isn't enough room in the valve cluster for me to use the hammer grip and stay relaxed. A young person should have enough room to use the hammer grip but should be aware of the options.

    A friend of mine owns a pre WWII Blessing and the tube is wound so tight you have to use a 2 up 2 down grip. Trumpet design has changed since then but I like the grip options available today with the larger bend radii.
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2007
  6. skankin'dan

    skankin'dan Pianissimo User

    Mar 14, 2007

    I've been reading all this and decided to play with as little pressure as possible....

    Already it makes the higher notes alot easier to play, thanks everyone!

    (at least i got one of my problems fixed :lol: )
  7. Principaltrumpet

    Principaltrumpet Pianissimo User

    Nov 7, 2006
    north texas
    I read an article by Chris Gekker awhile back that like ppl who smoke it is often times difficult to stop "cold turkey". He suggested begining the day or warming up using as lil pressure as possible. Then the rest of the day just play as normal. Sooner or later you will find yourself using less pressure all of the time. It worked for me. It isnt a trick...just practice. My .02

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